Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Hajj: from pilgrimage to holiday
By Bashir Goth
While most of the hajj-bound people from other continents still struggle to make the life-time journey with the same fervor, the same passion and the same difficulties, albeit less taxing than the situation was in the old days, there is a new phenomenon of a picnic like hajj in the Arab Gulf countries. Due to economic affluence, proximity to the holy places and the lack of the quota system imposed by the Saudi Arabian authorities on other Muslim countries, many of the people in the region have the luxury of making the trip yearly with no life-long savings, no overwhelming passion and yearning, no arduous preparation, no tearful good byes, no sweat and toil and sadly resulting in no change in attitude and lifestyle upon their return.
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